tv Capital News Today CSPAN December 11, 2012 11:00pm-2:00am EST
but our cash payments and checks into the government. we don't do that since it very, very different being. our desires is not to hurt the rwandan people. our desire is not to cut them off from essential support for agricultural education or health programs. in the regional -- >> sanctioning individuals within the rwandan government would not in any way hurt individuals and frankly the argument you are making, i served on this panel and begin my surveys in 1983 in sanctioning south africa. there were people who said he
will hurt innocent people if you do so. sometimes the egregious firm is so compelling that a statement needs to be made. minimally we would sanction individuals in the rwandan government. >> mr. chairman, encourager requesting your concerns. >> a day to ask her second pin with a great way to the witness panel beginning with steve haydee who was hurt and served for three consecutive mandates as the armed groups experts on the drc. investigate and co-authored reports submitted and presented to the u.n. security council sanctions committee during the groups expire 2012 mandate he was also coordinator of the six member team working under security council resolution 2021. prior to joining the group of experts, mr. hege worked with
organizations. really here with john prendergast, cofounder of the enough project, initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. these are the quick administration and the state department congress. he's worked with unicef, human rights, international crisis group and episode five and help launch the sentinel project pictures clingy. mr. prendergast to search for peace in africa for well over a quarter century. then we would hear from mvemba dizolele, who is a visiting fellow at hanford university server is petitioned the professor, lecturing africans to visit john's heart and university school of events international studies.
mr. dizolele has testified before this congress. his work is appeared frequently in these publications and is a frequent commentator on the face on television and radio. he served as election monitor in 20 about the and has been embedded with the united nations peacekeepers. he's a veteran of the united states marine corps. thank you for your service and i'd like to now go to steve hege. >> chairman smith, ranking member bass and members of the subcommittee on global health and human rate coming tonight for the invitation to testify in the current crisis. i've been working on the congo for over eight years including the past three of the united nations group of experts. the experts mandate expired on
30 november during which i served as coordinator of her six member team. as such a militant affiliated with the united nations that is a share today to not reflect those of the organization or that the group of experts, the strictly my personal spirit or group of experts is a security council mandated by the richer for it to the sanctions committee. he chose to investigate, document and inform sanctions committee of violations of united nations arms are going to get actors as well as related issues such as illegal trade in resources and international law with recruitment and use of child soldiers. during the course of the mandate, the group found since the outfit of the m23 rebellion, governments of rwanda provided tracked military support, facilitate recruitment, encouraged the congolese army and delivered arms, ammunition, political advice and intelligence to the rebels.
at the strategic level, ronda has spearheaded fundraising and membership for the political cutters, nominating political leadership and directly in strict amendment demands to be made before the congolese government. the rwandan army is not only set up a recruitment at work to ensure steady supply of new shirts, including children, but they've integrated their own officers within m23 chain of command on the ground. during all major -- journal nature military operations, the army has deployed dozens of additional troops to reinforce m23 and their principal attack such as the recent offense uncle bob. all members of the community have respected the might of diplomatic and financial pressure, the group has some pressure at the has only increased with time. precisely because m23 defect to
command culminate with general james cabrini. the government of rwanda denies any involvement. we thoroughly respond to each criticism. when its extensive arguments prevented from insane or want to turn to attacking a group of experts credit bias in orchestrating the campaign but i resent that was sympathizing with the rebels and the rwandan genocide. nevertheless, ronda previously recognized magic to me to the group's extensive detailed investigation and support networks and financing in recent years. in addition to our final report scum of the group document support for the rebels for important networks to be on senior officials or by the rebels with troop reinforcement and congolese territory, weapons, delivery sky technical
assistance, political advice and facilitation of extra planning. the supported creation expansion of the political branch of m23 even before president kabila about the race in the interaction with the rebels. a yukon and government representatives acknowledge this type of support was indeed taken place in the group of experts in october. throughout our mandate, the question most often post to us is quite and logical. why? by would want to take a risky and politically dangerous endeavor? though it is not the work of experts to establish causes are drivers of conflict, i humbly attempt to recognize the stated motives and were beginning the m23's key demand. since the rebellion's initial stages, m23 has prevented demanding justification. first, rebels have claimed the governments reneged on the 23, march 12,009 agreements. in reality this accord was an
afterthought to formalize a bilateral deal between coup jolly but the immense influence in exchange for arresting the rest to join the army under bosco. for many within the government the integration and the congolese army was merely a tactical move to never constitute alteration their objectives. the short-term nevertheless immensely generous rwanda, congo he suffers at the cdp, particularly took control of the army in eastern congo. paradoxically rebels have complained of the pervasive corruption within the congolese army. nevertheless is the most powerful commanders, they were some of the worst perpetrators of salary theft and racketeering moreover, the rebels have claimed discrimination of tucci
officers in the killing of those who had been redeployed outside people certain historical animosities cannot be denied, dozens of senior officers and over four fifths of the acts cdp have chosen not to join the revolution. m23 has claimed they went the review of the discredits 2011 presidential lessons in attempt to attract a broader constituency. nevertheless, the political party had joined the electoral line and many top commanders have massive fraud on his behalf. now, if it's not really claims of the march 23rd come into the land agreement for good governance, human rights, what does you wonder really want crisis? despite the extremist paranoia about balkanization so prevalent for many years among the congolese popularization, only
one of the rebel demands of any lasting explanatory power and that is federalism. rwanda orchestration of the m23 rebellion comes more comprehensible when understood as determined, i'm tries autonomous federal state for the eastern congo. there has been speculation of whether rwandan involvement was driven high-security interests, economic interest or cultural ties. a federal state for the eastern congo would encapsulate all these issues. prior to the november 20th of the elections, one of the most senior wanted intelligence officers argued that because the congo was too big to be governed by kinshasa, they should support the federal state for the eastern congo. he told me, goma should relate to someone in the same way juba was linked to khartoum prior to south sudan. for an official, they
consistently stated investigations are a distraction from reaching a definitive solution or governing in eastern congo. when pushed further, several representatives hide the fact the only solution they had in mind was in the federalism. not surprisingly, one has opened aided and abetted congolese succession sos to set the bar high enough to position federalism is an acceptable conqueror. during several internal meetings of m23 mobilization from his senior government officials including specialists openly affirmed that establishing this state was in fact the key goal of the rebellion. one m23 spokesperson recently they did in "the new york times," we want more than decentralization. we will federalism. eastern parts of the congress and schuster in eastern africa. even senior ugandan security officials acknowledge this is the aim of the rwandan m23 were pier one officer who was
involved in supporting m23 a cooperation with the remains of the state banking day. need to look at south sudan. the subject of us who explains have consistently sought to depict the eastern drc is one single, united, credible front and repeatedly calling the congo a bit like void in the congolese state is fictitious. a federal state for the eastern congo would guarantee rwanda's extensive influence over military, political and cultural aspects of life. the government ever wanted to his great credit to the terrific event for the genocide in 199400 deputed ambition to rebuild his country with unmatched progress. however that same determination has led readers to modestly adopt and destabilize them lunchroom geopolitically strategies for the eastern drc. so if rwanda's geopolitical aspirations are indeed as i
suspect so ambitious, what can we expect from current negotiation? particular blend rwanda demonstrated it has the upper hand on the battlefield? for his part, president kabila feel strongly about commercial and a third agreement that will never falter like sticky issue of federalism is put front and center on the negotiating agenda. for the u.s. and others in the community support a federal solution the eastern congo with full knowledge this is likely rwanda's primary objective in the first place? stepping back from the current dynamics, federalism and another sub is neither inherently good or bad proposition , but when driven by neighboring state which would benefit enormously from it, federalism can be problematic to say the least. diplomats commonly affirmed everyone they can and must be a part of a solution. which solution i would ask.
the rwandan solution for this crisis appears to have been identified well before the shots were even fired. thank you, mr. chairman for the opportunity to share the findings. >> thank you for her testimony. and now mr. prendergast. >> thank you for your extraordinary commitment to the people of the congo. deeply appreciated by everyone in this room. i want to begin by echoing something you said, congressman smith, earlier in the hearing. no one is questioning the hard work and dedication in decades of long commitment to key administration officials have exhibited on behalf of peace and congo. i would particularly point out for special accommodation ambassador johnny carson and susan rice, particularly saddened by personal attacks against ambassador raised seer
over the last couple weeks over issues related to the congo. it has been fully activated and some people see blood in the water, but knowing john and susan for the past 16 years i can tell you from personal experience that worked tirelessly for peace. reasonable people can disagree over type takes and strategies and it's in that spirit i deliver my testimony today. i'm going to focus remarks and issues related to the congolese peace process and division of labor marks the colleagues at the table. throughout the latest congolese conflagration in previous cycles of conflict, the root causes of war have not been addressed. leaving these peace processes to focus on flimsy power-sharing deals and arrangements that have undermined the sovereignty of the congolese state and professionalism in a trilogy of its armed forces. this in turn has left the civil population of eastern congo subjected to globally
unparalleled violence, predation and impoverishment. another unrepresentative agreement between powerful interest with the biggest guns when they see coming out of this ken pollack talks by these open fighting momentarily the lazy deeper foundation for further devastation and state deconstruction on the road. the united states should not be a party to such a short term destructive approach in this alter his policy to avert an outcome that simply says the seeds for further work. this hearing and leadership i believe in congress will be an important building block for this step change for seeking from the administration and broader international community. here's the crux of it. the lack of a credible and affect it internationally mandated lavish peace process addressing these issues in eastern congo has become a major region for the worse continuation. the current negotiation between
the government of congo and the m23 rebels is already making the same mistakes as his predecessor and will likely result in the same short-term deal that keeps the congolese government empowered reduces international pressure for backing the m23 and redefines the word. the root cause of structural violence will remain unaddressed in any agreement will lack the involvement of political parties have a representative society elements including women and religious leaders and local armed groups and interests of eastern congo. the time has come finally for real international peace efforts, the kind that has a chance and being the deadliest work lowrey since world war ii and the u.s. needs to help make that happen because it's lustily to combatants of the regional sponsors it will not. we believe to key pieces of the solution are missing now.
for a lasting peace, it processes to address this fundamental root causes rooted in economic and political drivers of war. first the economic. a shared framework for the future must be agreed upon in which the entire separation of central africa, congo first and foremost at the center can benefit much more for peaceful, legal natural resource development rather than violent illegal extraction that exist today. section 1502 of the dog frink bill hurriedly passed in the phase of a lot of industry money and lobbying company nascent regional certification effort of , initiatives by forward thinking companies electronic companies who started working in support of real progressive change and new oecd guidelines are all catalyzing movement in the right direction but more must be done to change the economic incentives for more
gps. just as cleaning the blood turning trade up incentivize peace in west africa countries. covered with strong international investments, i first create conditions for transparent and effective governing to do with economic roots of war not only removes the main driver for the conflict today that creates the main engine for state reconstruction. second to politics, a political framework for congo must be agreed upon that restores public confidence and respect the viability of the congolese state while ensuring further rebellion does not ensue. president kabila faces a crisis as a result of failures of the army and elections last year that talks with m23 alone will only erode authority to provide further insult and injury to the congolese people. it's now time for a whiter inter-congolese dialogue which leaders of the government, political parties and for a civil society actively
participate in decide on a national consensus and reforms key issues such as political framework for the country, decentralization can catch the minorities and other issues that would be put the table the congolese themselves. isi recommendations for strengthening this policy, some of which are echoing the good points you at the congressional table raised earlier. first one and foremost a think is the need to appoint this presidential envoy. as a presidential companies to have that rank. the current u.s. structure simply dismount the united states to exercise its blatant leverage, creativity and international coordinating function with respect to supporting peace. if you appoint a presidential envoy, it helps to rectify those problems. the envoy should be a high-level individual with experience and relationships in the region who
are responsible for developing a unified policy towards the regional crisis to fully advised in deepening this political peace process to address its current gaping deficiencies. we hope that would leverage economic, political and military influence to ensure all parties fully cooperate with the international political progress. we're closer to a e.u., u.n. and icglr. the second is one that everyone's seen before but it's not have been. it is to get a u.n. envoy out there as soon as possible. everyone is saying they want is sitting ambassador persons very encouragingly. it was in nations security the congressional letter you must refer to earlier could be better timed in that regard. both envoys will be appointed if
the congress stays on this case and demands they see these kinds of things happen. third recommendation we want to support robust united nations sanctions against people. the community and this is terribly important for the peace process and forward movement. when he shoots leverage leverage on the table by not following recommendations of experts and others. there must be accountability for those who've restarted, sort and for those orchestrating or funding crimes against humanity and war crimes. as a responsible supporter of the sanctions regime the united states should be compelled to push to oppose sanctions all individuals identified in the u.n. group of experts final report and those individuals and entities supporting criminal
networks, mafia networks of the trade betray the natural resources. if congress doesn't continue to pound away on this issue. progress is in part in your hand through the fourth recommendation is put forward is the importance of this is well articulated in the discussion between ambassador courson and the congress persons on the panel. we need to suspend certain u.s. assistance to any government supporting conflict in obstructing peace. that's military assistance for sure, the certain categories of bilateral nonmilitary particularly multilateral systems, not humanitarian aid to governments wherever they are supporting conflict in congo. if rwanda and uganda are found to be continuing support from m23 and support and 23 efforts to obstruct peace process at the
peace table, corresponding measures should be taken by the u.s. other governors to which the u.s. contributes huge amounts of american tax payers dollars. let's be clear. we don't want health and education and micro enterprise, the small-scale assistance that goes to the people to be stopped. that should continue, but it's the budget support and military assistance. those two categories are critical and the world bank is $135 million on the table right now in batches of the rwandan government. that should not be disbursed until the clear, forward movement on the peace process. fifth and finally, this one hasn't been discussed yet, but we would call for ahead of a summit on responsible investing in the great lakes. the united states in partnership with the european union, african union could facilitate investment on piece nine rather
than minerals that exist today. in order to expand the pie in the region for conflict resolution and development in which all people of the subregion can benefit, particularly at the center. the summit could focus on market-based opportunities for investment in congo in the region again. turns incentives away from illegal, extractive, violent binding to peaceful development that goes into the tax treasury incensed development in eastern congo. bob hormats undersecretary of state in the administration could be a kind of person who could help. not that estimate to build the alliances and both companies in the united states government and civil society trying to help promote responsible investment spurred on by 1502 from the dog
frink law. conclusion, my bottom line is a credible internationally driven the root causes and includes eastern congolese civil society won't guarantee peace, but its absence, however, absolutely guarantees. thank you very much. >> mr. dizolele. >> chairman smith, ranking member bass, thank you for the invitation to stand before your committee. i come before you at the congolese and concerned citizen. his statements today are mine and mine alone. this important hearing comes at a neither a critical time for the democratic republic of congo are they to commend you for your interest in my own country. congo was too big to fail in the
u.s. should care for the same strategic and security regions it did during the cold war. with this mineral another natural wealth, drc is the equivalent of the rose breadbasket of resources. chinese resources can not stand idle to the hearts of africa. measured in human life the cost of the military adventure which is indirectly killed over 6 million congolese now a ribose king leopold. ironically, blames king leopold for the crisis. u.s. military assistance to rwanda and uganda and washington supports regimes make the u.s. compost. today the greatest challenge in
resolving the alphabet soup of militia name started the lack of engagement of international community. rather it is the lack of understanding of the drivers and dynamics of the conflict stands between policy makers at yourself and the right prescriptions. for two decades the polity discourse and drc has been defined by a narrative focused on the ramifications of problems such as a neck from identity, citizenship issues, violence, booting of natural resources, but ignores her causes of the crisis. while the problem is often viewed as a disaster, which it is, drc is paralyzed by a political crisis that requires political solutions and that's where you have the greatest impact. congo has been muddling through a series of crisis for nearly two decades. the causes are well-known for
weak leadership, no articulated vision in a legitimacy after the botched 111 election from a lack of capacity to resist or contain predatory dissent neighbors, i.e. rwanda, uganda and angola proliferation of armed groups and underachieving over politicized u.n. peace agreement. this cocktail of problems in a diplomatic community is a short-term interests of the country to present long-term stabilization of congo in central africa. so the m23 rebellion is understood to this optic. as the m23 crisis enters a new phase on the city of goma, the people of north seventh street and citizens everywhere wonder when the storm has passed our
rebels before the superstar. either way, tell tell signs in history indicate that the conflict will continue unless appropriate deterring measures are taken. m23 at its precursor exposed congo as a dysfunctional state but we put up a leadership and lacking a combatant army and security institutions. but the feeling of the state, all community grievances, demographic, ethnic expansion and control of resources has turned eastern congo into a tinderbox. this means ambitious ashburn in recent demagogues only need to cause and find a sponsor can be a communitycome the business can the political state to start the militia.
m23, primarily étude d. mono ethnic armed group fighting discrimination is one reason for the rebellion. they failed to generate important political communities such as the onion malindi who have so far refused to join m23. instead, serving the drc army and fighting the rebellion. the rebellion had also tried to take over goma can deliver to the drc. it is when goma fell to m23 elements broke out in bukavu, can send johnnie and exposing kinshasa against the rebellion and united nations. while it may be too early to draw meaningful conclusions from
the m23's failure to rally but previously consented, and friends may signal the ending of a new era between groups. after the two presidential political elections that empower the congolese to seek change with the ballot, m23 has no popular appeal. a highly controversial and contested 27 presidential election eroded the legitimacy of president kabila, making it impossible for the government to mobilize in this time of crisis. i'm 23 rebellions through the crisis by exposing the ability to correct citizens. the government felt the professional army and the single most important element in ensuring congo's integrity and security of citizens and natural resources. without such a competent
military, drc is unable to stop malicious. instead chosen to compromise and co-opt them into the national army with no disruption. the lack of an adequate military integration program has resulted in the establishment of command and struck during at the national army. this means the militia butchering the national army can remain in areas of control and keep commands nearly intact are the arrangement allows abuses and keeps the access to local resources under protection of the congolese uniform. this integration model enabled elements, especially north and south kivu to launch m23 been drc ironically bosco ntaganda in
uganda. rwanda and uganda through the volatile situation with the militias. several u.n. report have linked use of resources and of course now linked to m23. both countries deny charges and insist they are wrongfully accused and used as goods for the drc's failure. the denial and deceit however undermine chances of peace. it is impossible to solve the crisis in the parties in the conflict refused to assume. our militia, router resources and directly cause were not in a scapegoat. so we know the primary supporters of the militias
whether they be in congo or neighboring countries overseas. wilson is a primary route with export routes, which neighbors profit from. i think that's what muslims do. number one, winning to unequivocally support for the reasons you for today. for my colleagues and secretary. reform is long overdue. they mean serious commitment to rebuilding the army and not all the militia and new units. millions of dollars have been invested in training, but not enough attention has been devoted to the military. unfortunately this initiative is not too expensive window dressing. for instance, that put m23 did not receive the institution of support in their mission. u.s. asked for calm has also
trended units which would've made the people united context of the leadership and structure and different. the current military structure do not observe newly trained unit for every. military reform requires belts in army and such top commanders for calm from militias. we cannot put new wine in the old places. said number two, we need to implement u.s. law. and the congolese, like many other people do what, look at the u.s. as a beacon of principle. so there is a law by senator barack obama. we mentioned the democratic republic commend these bills include provisional.
so far we have scratched the surface of the law. it still baffles me. number three, we need to act the this program. i think we need to encourage militias to transit it out of the system, to turn on their colleagues. it is very much for once you are in the these is very difficult to get out, especially based on ethnic affiliation. number four, we need to apply sanctions against individuals and institutions identified in reports. i commend u.s. government and congress for the recent initiative to sanctions of m23. but it will not serve the tended purpose if we sanction backing of an anybody else, will not
sanction and rwanda, uganda bureau set a.b. in the cable continue. it becomes a burden, he will be replaced. he was arrested. so tomorrow will be somebody else and i think we cannot act like were doing some thing when a factory just again during window tracing. number five, we need to push for the electoral process in the political system. the type about rwanda and uganda for bigger elephant is kinshasa. eastern congo is not a country. the crisis taken place as the roots in kinshasa and for the last five years in 2006, the
congolese have been involved in the electoral process. we need to open that process so that the electoral system should move forward. we need to support of the municipal and provincial elections. the electoral commission was to be without mandates. the months, we need to insist on restructuring the independent national electoral commission. there is part of the problem. it looks the other way when the system is botched. this is why president kabila cannot speak with these people. that's already one not continue.
finally, this conflict has gone too long. it challenges our morals and principles. we cannot talk about democracy. we cannot be out reached a violence of an impact for not taking steps to stop this. and the armed groups, their international vocal backers. there's a greater enemies of the government in failure. it is a big tapestry of different militias. so if you talk about u.n. security, it is the feeling you have in uniform. thank you very much. >> mvemba dizolele, thank you for her testimony. author testimonies were incited, timely and prescribed a way forward for the administration as well as congress.
for that, our subcommittee is deeply grateful for your presence here today and for sharing with us not only the understand of the situation the ground, but what can be done to rep to fire. the emphasis on root causes could be more timely as well. i think mr. hege from years ago in the early days of the asahi has, ifi congressman frank wolf wear to other places achalasia after it had been devastated and then we went to belgrade and others within the dictatorial government of his fierce all never forget getting enough of a greater serbia that included bosnia and croatia and the lack of stadium, follows are part of what the endgame was just appalling. without this is something something that would debate over a short period of time.
mr. hege, your point of the key to establish an autonomous state is largely underappreciated and the other two witnesses that what you associate if i don't want associate is as the geopolitical regional strategy adopted by the leadership, a federal autonomous states to guarantee rwanda's extensive influence over military political economics of life. that is underappreciated almost in the extreme. we know the mineral well engraved invitation to readers and these to do what they do. but this idea that it's part of governments overall strategy, perhaps you might want to elaborate on as well as their other distinguished witnesses. >> thank you, mr. chairman. on the question of the rwandan
strategy for creating or spawning menton of the state for eastern congo, a few things i'd like to mention as well in terms of timing. some of my colleagues here mentioned the nature and numbers of wars that have taken place in eastern congo. it appears the rwandan backers of m23, the masterminds orchestrated creation of the rebellion are looking towards the electoral. precisely for reasons that mvemba described, the discredited 2011 presidential elections as a period where they would he able to mobilize in eastern, and from against the delegitimize kinshasa and president kabila himself. this is certainly part of the calculations about why to push
for this now. also, the question of the cycles of impunity and the fact the international community was increasingly resist and to allowing their capacity to control parallel chains of command, to have unfettered access to the poetry and natural resources. they understood this was a time in which those networks could be curtailed, if someone could attempt to curtail them they would need to capitalize on those assets before any attending individuals were eventually redeployed or in the case of trade to that he would be arrested and felt it the third element they took into account in preparing a strategy because it is quite well
prepared, we have extensive evidence that shows mccain to himself as a mask and large amounts of weapon in his home in numerous crashes precisely after the election. iranians understood there is a generalized fatigue as is often described, but there's a sentiment for congo is all refinanced. i've been told everyone to diplomats likes to say that the congo was a mess before it was born at will be a mess indefinitely. certainly within the u.n., their member states questioning strategy, how long can they continue to put the bill for a peacekeeping mission, which is so costly and should research a think of more radical solutions for the east congo and whether
the current government structure is a viable one. for one to thought the right. to push for this and unfortunately their success on the battlefield recently would likely embolden them to continue to drive for the team in any other issues on the table in political top would only prolong this process until they could get to that key in creation. >> i want to add to what you said. i'll do my three points, purity, interests and economic entries that the governments of rwanda and uganda have in eastern congo and why there continues to be intervention, both direct and indirect by neighboring government in eastern congo. security first. rwanda legitimately concerned
over the last 18 years 1994.the possible strengthening of the fdlr. they want to assure without any doubt that the fdlr cannot come back. that context can allow a congolese state that may prevent support. they will say if the adf. with her back and forth with ambassador courson and the committee on that. the issues steeper than than security ones. rwanda has benefited massively over the last decade from looting of not charisse persist in eastern congo, particularly, this is why the whole camp he and the united states has unfolded because everyone is
somehow complicit in this. all of the space of phones and laptops are helping to underwrite this smuggling network computing obvious ruminated continue to eviscerate people in eastern congo. 10, tantalum and tungsten or three minerals today. there are others decade ago the bleeding occurs across borders and with no congolese people. foreign exchange drives our economic development miracle. and uganda it's gold, smuggled gold, huge amounts of gold travel across the border illegally from congo and uganda and export out of the country. these are windfalls that are hard to replace by domestic economic development. the third arena is political.
both uganda and rwanda or proxies in eastern congo whether military or civilian authorities to ensure the economic security interests. when president kabila tried after the elections to the element as ambassador ms. carson was discovered facts of what happened. it was underneath was the cndp have established for years disability to export illegally and extract natural resources and ensure political and security interests of the state ever wondered. when president kabila tried to redeployed out of that region, which would undermine the proxy
control, the rebellion immediately occurred to us they couldn't allow that to happen. for one and support comes pouring in. they change the acronyms of the same group. there's a lack of any domestic constituency that the m23 half. nevertheless, the result is the same. or allowing dose of powerful proxies to profit for destabilization. >> just a couple points. i think the disco is not part of the problem. just like rwanda in the sense that part of the challenge when we look at congo is a lot of people discover congo existed
way before that. those of us who were born there and grew up their newly country to work spirits when we go to congo today come we don't append the country. that does not mean people are not capable. some of your old methods to remember the first u.n. mission in congo. it is much bolder, robust. it's also very determined to carry out its mandate that's lasted for years. the war in 1860 much bigger than what we've seen today. you had the chinese, egyptians, french mercenary to cassava. but because the milk was committed to helping the congolese meet obligations to protect their countries, they thought they protected the civilians to build an army and
eventually became the country and angola, chad, i'm not sure what happened. so simply to mean that we need to scale down the manes very quickly, make it very clear how much longer they're going to stay in congo and what emissions should be so the government does not lean to the u.n. for excuses. in the illustrated 200 women are in north kivu, the headlines in "the new york times" will say some women were raped. it is contingent to bangladesh to do anything. no one will ask, where is the congolese army and we can do that because there's a force
there. the u.n. is filled to protect civilians throughout the event. when they fell, moscow or god there are massacres they are by cndp. they said we were absolutely to protect goma. , will not fall. uncle mostel is because there is endangered civilians. when m23 withdrew, was nowhere to be seen. so two decades, it is not at the drc. thank you very much. >> going to unfortunately have to leave at this point, but i want to thank you offer
testimony and attentive to come and i look forward to continue to work with you and especially to follow up on what he can specifically do here in congress and most interested in sanction on individuals and how that i work and how we like it started from here. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> will come, gentlemen. thank you for being here. most of us in the room here know at least one sure that must be taken against rwanda and uganda to and that is the enactment serious steam sanction. however, let's call this the way it is. the obama industry should refuses to engage in serious sanctions against these countries. this is not typical in other foreign affair matters that
plague the work of the administration. some i said question is what do you propose that we do or that you can do to persuade this administration to enforce the sanctions the way it has been so eloquently stated here today for you gentlemen and from this panel. so you can start, mr. hege. each one of you, could you respond to that, please? >> i can speak from the perspective of the group of experts we submit annually a list of recommended individuals and entities for consideration before the u.n. committee. obviously the united states government plays an important role in taking forward in studying this means.
many of those names on the list remains confidential, many are included in our public reports. there's not a great deal of surprise of the contents of that list. however, the group has cells steps away from consideration in discussions of the list that it provides. in essence we remain indifferent to the steps taken subsequently. however, having stepped away from my role in the group of experts that measures to identify the individuals in sanction individuals supporting m23 and our conclusions are not necessarily externally supporting. they are commanding and running the rebellion in the state today to the piece, which goes beyond external support in many cases. measures to identify them, be
that sanctions, diplomatic pressure, all of that is critically important in identifying the problem. as i said, rwanda continues to identify itself as a solution. however, sanctions or efforts to identify publicly the individuals running the rebellion and the rwandan government would go a long way to assure the problem is squarely understood as the rwandan orchis ration come as a rwandan trip in a commanded rebellion and that will have enormously important consequences for any peace negotiations in terms of framing the issue and not necessarily getting lost in some of the smokescreen issues that have been posed to be used as pretext to justify rebellions. i'll encourage any measures and
any symbolic efforts that can be made to ensure the problem itself is squarely identified as a rwandan trip and rebellion. thank you. >> thank you. mr. prendergast. the next thank you. there's been an amazing amount of continuity in u.s. policy to the clinton administration, but should registration and upon the illustration. all three very slow to utilize pressures and to spend us into this possibility. there's a long-term problem. every fundamentally, heard from ambassador carson today, a belief in quiet diplomacy and direct engagement in what i would call in the conflict resolution theory, insider partial model that has been pursued. the response to the bulk of my recommendations as to what congress can do to say what we
>> they are saying let's start eight agenda that will be bold in its approach. we will undertake projects with many other groups a series of campaigns. others who actually care about what is happening in congo. i think that constituency of conscious is expanding rapidly, just as we saw with darr for. we are starting to see that. the present status quo is
unacceptable. and the we will have a shot at altering the status quo. >> thank you. >> that is an important question. i think all of us today both you we have all of the ingredients that need to be put in place. we talk about external support. [inaudible] i think we have talked about everything. the u.s. congress has been part of certain events in africa.
so i think that one area could be to see the [inaudible] about the obama's here. to see if they hide behind the miracle of the recovery. it is very troubling. the gentleman was bringing civilizations in congo. he was looking at the great things in the recovery. he started to realize that he was killing people, and millions of them.
so we have laws on the books, people speaking, they are listening to us. i think that you have communication. there are thousands of people pushing causes and i think we need the support. so that the other side and start looking at what is already there. >> i think i am right in saying that you do agree with me, each of you, that the previous administration and this administration know what the facts are and what is going on. they are not ignorant is facts. it is very blatant. but they chose and choose not to do what should be done about this. sir, i think you are absolutely right, mr. john, i'm coming back
as a sophomore and my daughter and i had the opportunity to visit the continent of africa. i went to liberia with her. my daughter is going to be a physician. but she said that we have to take care of these people. we have to help them. and if we do not do it, who is going to? so it is like banging my head against the wall sometimes. i have signed numerous letters that have been sent to the administration and the secretary streets and maybe we do have to take this with more passion to the public to get our government to respond more. my daughter and i will be there during this. >> i yield back. >> thank you. >> let me just ask one final question. there has been reports of a least one security council
member that wanted to delay the report on each this summer, and perhaps less with the role played by rwanda. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we submitted reports during the month of may which did not include information regarding this. however, we briefed the committee of the information we have gathered in the month of june. we suggested that we provide additional information to that report. outlining the violations. the committee requested that we
engage, once again, with the government of rwanda. we had already gone to meet with them over a period of three days, over which they refused to accept us for any meetings. the committee asked us to provide the minister of foreign affairs. at the time i was coming to new york at the end of june. i personally met with her in new york. i presented to her our methodology and our work and our approach. the reason why this information had not been included in the interim report. i outlined in detail the findings. and at that stage she declined to provide any response or explanation or justification of our findings.
as such, we received to submit that document and it was then made an addendum and non-annex for interim report to to answer your question, the consensus of the committee was the rwandan government. the reply should be granted by the group working for and under the guidance of the sanctions committee, unfortunately, we proceeded to make public statements that nevertheless they have never been provided, which for us was obviously quite frustrating, given that we delay this information in order to engage in dialogue with the government of rwanda.
as we said, we proceeded to submit that in that report that was published at the end of june. >> thank you. are there any final comments? >> okay, mr. chairman, thank you. i mentioned two things. i had originally said that congress is too big to fail. we are smart people, good people. before it was said that congress could be split in half. anybody who entertained that idea is smoking something. because if rwanda, as small as it is, has trouble, it is no wonder we would be the ideal country. everyone speaks the same language, they have the same types of things. but they kill each other over and over. we have not seen the half of it.
the drc have rallied around democratic principles. they are waiting for support. the companies need help changing things. they need help to prosper their lives. they are very capable people. they are resourceful, and on their behalf, i would like to thank you for your continued interest. >> thank you. >> we have today a clash of two
visions of policy. a lot of punitive measures would undermine our efforts. the continuous intervention cycle that we have seen from the region. the alternative belief that this table has articulated and the key members of the committee have been articulate as well, if kinds of measures, which by the way, involved withholding hard-earned u.s. taxpayer dollars for the kinds of support
-- we are talking about the developmental support, we are not talking about.com but the governmental support the christian country. if we utilize these punitive measures, it will provide mentors for a solution. if we are successful in convincing the administration to move in that direction, which i believe we will work to do, then we need to have somewhere for rwanda and uganda and others in the congo that don't have a solution. we need to have a place for them to go. i do believe that that place is a legitimate and credible and internationally supported peace process that allows the eastern homilies to be part of the solution and the root cause will be addressed. it's not going to happen unless we get u.s. leadership. that is why we need a presidential envoy. thank you so much.
>> thank you. >> just to conclude, there is a great deal of analysis of government behavior of the country of rwanda, which concludes that eventually that certain things don't work. they are very ambitious and determined. any punitive measures would not deter their behavior. there is likely a great deal of evidence since our report in june, exposing the direct creation of m23. the rebellion has only grown in their involvement has only become more overt. i would say many of their commanders have become more emboldened. obviously, we are talking about a very important capital, which is goma. however, that doesn't mean come as, as i said earlier, that we shouldn't continue to frame the
problem as a determined effort to attain this objective. which is, as i said, part of eastern congo. they do believe that any of the short-term consequences of their current project may be outweighed by the gains of that state. particularly, as i said, well the economic interests. that rwanda has in eastern congo. cultural ties and security interests that they would be able to ensure, including other political dissidents. however, that being said, you noted basing that determination, the peace process would have to find a way of to identify a solution which appears to appeal to their long-term objective. in order for them to stop.
i am not convinced that anything less at this stage than something close to that long-term objective would cause them to stop. however, if that solution is identified, there could be some kind of decentralization process and the implementation of that agreement will require significant accompaniment and tremendous investment, not only from the united states, but other members of the international community to reinforce the capacity of the countries and perhaps external control and manipulation. that will be, as i say, realistically one of the keys moving forward from this current crisis and it requires a very long-term commitment to building
up an economically and independent free state, where the neighbors will eventually look at it as an equal and not a country which it continued to manipulate. one that can benefit. >> thank you, all three of you, for your extraordinary insights. i do want to thank c-span in their editorial and an independent judgment, seeing their way clear to cover this hearing. people in america know far too little about what is going on in congo, and as you pointed out earlier, plus million people have died. and as we speak, people people's lives are being taken from them with this terrible rebellious m23. they do so much, this hearing is
>> coming up on c-span2, the senate banking committee looks into potential changes in providing housing assistance to low income renters. an update on planning for next month's presidential inauguration. any discussion about serious ongoing civil war. >> wednesday on "washington journal", caucus chairman john larson talks about ongoing negotiations of the so-called booklet are you then we will hear from the associated press on how congressional leaders plan to handle social security as part of the fiscal cliff talks. later, more on the role of social security would the aarp and david john of the heritage foundation. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span.
an official with the department of housing and urban development brief the banking committee of the senate on housing programs that provide rental housing for over 3 million low-income families. she talks about proposals and simplifying operations and reducing cost and hud section eight programs. this is 40 minutes. >> i call this hearing to order. i would like to welcome the honorable senator sandra henriquez about the hud section eight program. millions try to afford everyday a roof over their head.
currently, persons with a full-time job and earned about $18.50 per hour in order to afford a modest two-bedroom rental, is the national average. this is an amount far from minimum wage for the income provided by social security income. a further penalty is not just the problem of the largest cities in the country. the hud committee development program has helped twice as many families under the old program for housing assistance. the section eight and rental assistance programs held over 3 million people, including low income seniors and people with disabilities and families with children state or affordable
housing. a network of public and housing authorities have met. these programs are part of our national safety net, an increasing number of challenges. these include administrative procedures and privatization under federal funding to have local agencies do more with less. the local agencies have become so difficult that some phd is a turndown vouchers. it is essential that our federal program the subcommittee held a
hearing together to take recommendations for improving these grants. focusing on common sense ideas that have been considered in both house and senate voucher for mills in recent years, such as reminding schedules and simplifying calculations and improving the ability to provide new housing opportunities through the use of project-based [inaudible] they are also very good rental assistance programs. we have invited sandra henriquez
to share and we look forward to learning about the consensus and public housing assistance programs for families. >> are there any other members? [laughter] that is a great question. [laughter] >> mr. chairman, thank you so much. thank you for holding this hearing. i look forward to hearing it. to thank you all. i would like to remind you that the next seven days for opening statements, we will keep the record open for anyone who wants
to submit anything. now, we will talk with sandra henriquez, who is the secretary of housing and urban development program. she is responsible for the oversight of hud and hud housing programs. please proceed with your testimony, secretary sandra henriquez. >> thank you and good morning. chairman johnson, ranking member shelby, members of the committee, i think you for inviting me to testify this morning. the opportunities for reform with the hud program. we provide critical housing assistance and communities around the nation. not surprisingly, the demand for
rental assistance has increased. in order to reduce the administrative burden from public housing authorities and increase efficiency, generating cost savings were possible. in light of the affordable housing, we are working hard to preserve other housing ideas. we are strengthening the portfolio and pleasing possibility to respond to local needs. there is broad consensus among experts and practitioners for a number of reforms that will streamline and simplify the rental assistance program. hud purporting number of reforms and these include consolidating self-sufficiency program and open eligibility.
we are testing the effectiveness of policies of self-sufficiency and authorizing the housing choices to reduce administrative and financial burdens. we are exploring further streamlining measures that require authority and may be worth pursuing in fiscal year 2014. our commitment to this extends to the future of public housing as well. we recognize the importance of aligning our oversight structure with basic property management principles. small public housing authorities and existing oversight structure, is increasingly unworkable. we are certain that the program is heavy-handed and small housing authorities pose little risk to hud, and they should scale back.
sponsor these concerns, we have taken steps under this system and we are willing to change and consider other changes as well. broader reform embraces management practices and will bring substantial relief, helping to put the portfolio on a more solid foundation. it is the next step on the path established nearly a decade ago with the implementation of asset management. a system where accounting and budgeting are performed at the property level or better than the public housing level. the top 30 of this demonstration addresses the relationship between public housing authorities and hud. it also gives the option to enable them to have private
investment with private property owners, as part of the multi-family program. we expect that they will help reverse the loss of public housing units and preserve the portfolio going forward. the moving toward program was authorized in 1996 as a demonstration as well to provide a limited number of housing authorities with the statutory and regulatory flexibility to test practices that toward employment and economic independence and increase housing choices for low-income families. we have enabled innovative approaches with earnings and assets and operating cost efficiencies and leveraging private capital. for example, the portland housing authority in portland, oregon, uses project-based vouchers to provide housing to formerly [inaudible]
on flexibility, it allows us to provide this to veterans using housing vouchers as well. the department is pleased that some of our most important stakeholders from public housing authorities and low-income housing were able to negotiate their differences and in order to advance broader section eight reform. as the community craft the legislation, we hope you will consider the stakeholder approach. mr. chairman, there is an irrefutable need for rental assistance across this nation. at the same time, there is long-standing consensus on a set of reforms that will streamline and simplify the administration of the housing choice voucher and the public housing program. improving not only the oversight of the programs as well, we look forward to working with the committee and industry partners to develop property-based
it could happen on a less frequent basis because that income changes small and is known year after year. we also believe that the inspection protocols could move from annual to biennial, particularly in housing authorities where there is an unknown tenant population with less where and tear on those units which, indeed, may free up housing authority staff, create efficiencies, economies, and allow housing authorities to spread their precious resources
for the to serve the populations that are housed in those properties. >> in my state they have described the difficulties in keeping up with regulatory burdens and paperwork. for example, south dakota said mentioned that the -- they are often asked to submit the same information multiple times. we must obviously find a balance between the need to provide the appropriate oversight to taxpayer dollars with needs of agencies, particularly small agencies who have limited staff and funding. are you examining the actions you can take to reduce burdens on small ph a? >> yes, we are examining, particularly the burden reporting on regulatory burden on small. : chased. indeed we are trying a couple of
things in a couple of different areas. one, as i said earlier, we want to look what we can do it earlier to streamline across the board. we're looking at our how data collection systems to make sure we ask for it only one time and that when we ask for it it's information that we're going to use, not information that we're not. you want to make sure our data collection is as tight as possible. in addition, the regulatory relief for small agencies in particular. there are some things that we think make totally good sense from a property management and monitoring perspective. we want to take those, not just for small agencies but to scale because of there good for small agencies doing real estate property management, then they're good for other barger agencies. there are other issues around regulatory streamlining that we would like to talk more with both the committee and with
small agencies about what they need to run their business and balance that with what hud needs for its own monitoring. risk and assess brisk and generally small housing authorities if you follow the money. small agencies are less riskier propositions than larger housing authorities and get the bulk of the hud dollars in the but we want to strike that balance and make sure were being as effective and efficient with all of our stakeholders. >> have recommended increasing the medical deduction used in income in rent calculations from 3-10 percent of income. previous versions of this legislation under discussion in the house financial services committee take a broader approach to simplifying income and rant calculations.
these would streamline several deductions in the complicated income calculations and did to support this broader push to simplify deductions. >> we do support the broader approach to simplifying. we think that there will be less errors. easier for residents to understand the changes. easier for housing authority staff to a computer and make less mistakes and those computations. we also think their needs to be a balance between standard deductions, both on standard deductions and paring nap or if any changes in the medical deductions. there's a balanced program. this is truly not to the harm or caused greater cost be borne by
the economically vulnerable citizens that we have and our program. >> senator reid. >> well, thank you very much, mr. chairman and man secretary. one of the consistent themes here both from your department and from the germans questioning is lowering the deadweight costs on small public housing authorities. one issue that has come recently to our attention is that the agency has recognized in the awarding of grants, there were some errors. we have a province that is in that process. the head to come back and redo the work that administrative costs. can you give us some insight into the what happened and what your doing. >> thank you for that question.
i sometimes refer to it as cosmic convergence. there are several things that went wrong. they all went wrong at the same time and hence we find ourselves in having made a mistake. in the award in the calculations with those awards for the families sufficiency grants on the vouchers on. as it relates to small housing authority or any housing authority that applies under the act earlier this year, we're not asking for a recent mission. reprocess starting at point where hud made its first mistake which was our did a poll. a lot to be very clear, as written it makes a point. it said, we will do a data pulled from our database that looks at that year-long number of families registered under the family self-sufficiency program at any particular housing authority. we will post that data on the
website, and a link is there. if you click on electronically and automatically take you to the posting. in addition we said, please check the posting to see the numbers we have for your particular housing authority. if you disagreed with that number please then submit a supplemental or an ad hoc report to accompany your submission. we use that submission as the way they calculate the funding for those housing authorities that submitted the ad hoc report even with that, how did a poll was a point in time as opposed to an entire year. and so it didn't take into account. you might have had a thousand people at the beginning of the year. a graduate during the year commander replacing them. the number is lower at the appointed time pull. that was mistake number one.
what we're doing is asking, in fact, a letter went out friday to all housing authorities that submitted about 750 of them. some of them will be reprocessed here is the information. this is the reid posting. this is where you'll find it. please check the reid posting, pull your own numbers, resubmit, and from that point forward we're going to then actually reprocess all of those applications. and make the adjustments where some people got the words that should not have. some people, or awards. some people that higher amounts then there were due. when all is said and done, because it's the mistake of the department, we do not want housing authorities and cascading down to residence that use the services of the self-sufficiency coordinator. we don't want folks to be harmed. and so for people who should not have been awarded money, we are
going to make available extraordinary admission fees for them so they can continue if they've already hired people and made employment commitments that they will not be harmed them will move forward and not have to take a loss and laypeople off. >> thank you, madam secretary. two points because my time is winding down. one is, you and your proposal for essentially merging or consolidating both the programs for public housing authority. i think that's part of your design. that's reflected in the legislation that i have submitted and some of my colleagues are supporting. i think it makes sense. the second point, and you alluded to it. this notion of banding together, spreading all the head costs, it's something i think we should all explore. you know, i'm sure there are
communities in south dakota and new jersey and long island where there is one housing official trying to cope with all of this in a really difficult client instead to the extent we can incentivize this coming together, maybe not formally, but through a joint services or joint overhead, that would be very good. any advice you have for us going forward we appreciate. think you, mr. chairman and madame secretary >> senator. >> thank you very much. first of all, i apologize. i've only been here for couple moments. i do want to stop by and indicate to you, the chair as well as to our witness and to the other members of the committee that in these difficult budget times that we see, and the understanding that we all have that funding issues are critical to live think it's important for us to focus on the kind of regulatory activity that
the department can bring in the focus it can bring to these housing issues. i think that the deregulation of section eight is very critical and important and strengthening and i would hope in that process the work program could get strengthening and a renewed strong focus as we move forward. this one of the stop in and indicate my support forh process move forward and encourage that we work closely together on it. again, i apologize. i've been in four places this hour and i have another one to get to. i'm going to have to separate out. >> madam secretary, do you have any comments? >> we look forward to working with the committee, both in strengthening our regulatory oversight that is appropriate and balancing that with the needs of housing authorities to get there work done to serve the people who are housed on the programs.
thank you very much. >> senator mullen -- menendez. >> thank you for calling this hearing. we have a hearing on the subcommittee. employees to see the secretary can build upon it. none secretary, we have been discussing reforms to section eight for some time now. it think there's a tendency to forget h is. affordable housing advocates and housing authorities back in new jersey in telling me that these forms cannot wait -- reforms cannot wait and they are urgently needed now. can you give the committee a sense of the impact over time if congress fails to act relatively soon after such a long time having discussion to employment specific reform provisions? >> that's a really good
question. thank you and taking a moment because i want to get centered because i think that there are lots of potential issues that will flow from this. as you know already, as the administrative fees among which is the money that housing authorities get for leasing units under this section 85, those fees decrease, the workload doesn't. so what they have to do, the kinds of questions, kinds of documentation that is required on an annual basis does not decrease in spite of the fact that the funding to do the work has decreased, which has meant that housing authorities in some instances of the delete people off. that has led to long waiting lists for people. it's led to five people are on waiting lists longer. eleven more difficult conditions longer. as you laid off people with
decreasing funding, the housing authority employees themselves will find themselves in difficult straits as well. the way in which we think about how that program gets managed gets more difficult. the less people with more workload or similar workload means potential for more air, potential for more error means potential for a waste of taxpayer dollars. and so we really do need to think about streamlining so that the work gets done, the people get houses quickly as possible and the operations and the business process cs for housing authorities are streamlined and efficient so that errors are minimized and maximize the dollars, the precious resources. >> i appreciate that. how about how housing authorities are refusing to run their voucher programs and turning down-vouchers to assist
homeless veterans and the loss of units? >> we've seen that in several instances. in fact, not just vouchers, but we're seeing about a dozen housing authorities have decided that they're not going to operate a voucher program a more and have made arrangements to convey that operation to consolidate that operation with another enlarging to five larger housing authority. it means that the folks in need the subsidy, the affordability are not getting served. it means that the amount of work that it takes to do the job well is not able to be supported, and it means to most of all, but we will have homeless veterans and other families, homeless families in emergency conditions command that should not be tolerated. >> let me just quickly -- there are some reform provisions out with like to get your comment on one is having a stable voucher
renewal fund policy that would create predictability because i'm told tray harbor housing authority plans for the year ahead when they don't know exactly what that will do. also, to clarify how much money housing authorities to hold reserves for rainy day without those funds being taken to offset and also the flexibility provisions that being -- that i have discussed and project based vouchers enabling housing authorities to better assist families, especially elderly and disabled families, families transitioning of homelessness to live in affordable housing communities of opportunity and receive services on-site. how would that predictability, clarity, and funding sign of flexibility translate into more family served, if it does? >> predictability is something that we would in doors
wholeheartedly. it means a housing authority can plan its business moving forward. it will understand its resources and can then tabulated expenses and figure out how best or run its per gram. i would say that does not just benefit the housing authority and its employees. it benefits the residents who are participating in the program on the voucher side. we have heard in the past issues are shortfalls or money having sufficient funds to make sure everybody who needs to be housed or be renewed have their voucher renewed and be able to do that. this will make sure that we don't have to have those discussions again. so tenants will be protected and participants will be protected in that regard. further, i believe that a fixed formula funding renewal funding will mean that housing authorities are able to build of
small reserves. right now it's about three weeks. our three week reserve, multibillion-dollar program is really not allow the money, particularly when you're running a voucher program which is tied to market real-estate forces. and so while there are fair market rents and limits and so on, the natural tendency for housing authority is to want to house as many people on its waiting list is possible. that's why we're all in this business. particularly when coupled with understanding what your reserve levels are. and understanding that one of the things we keep asking for as well is the reallocation authority for the secretary. so from markets it may be easier to lease and you may have more room. some housing and tories may not
be allowed to lease as readily and will not use all the money. so the ability to reallocate so we can continue to house than maximized housing across this nation is something we would look for to as well. >> chairman, thank you. unlike ford working with the chair to see if this is something we would then dousing context could prioritize. i think there are two shared goals here. getting people a place to call home and saving taxpayers money. >> do you support the idea of. [indiscernible] administer the public housing programs. congress initially authorized the use of. [indiscernible] in 1998, yet i understand they
take full advantage of this authority. what has been done to remove barriers to use and facilitate the participation if they determine it will meet their local need? >> there are several actions we're taking right now. first of all, a consortium are allowed in voucher administering agencies, but not on the public housing side. so we are looking to extend the ability to have that happen in the public housing program. in addition, right now housing authorities, let's say three or four housing authorities band together to get some scale to simplify their operations. they still have to fill out three or four separate reports because they are still seeing
those for your four separate public housing into these. and so we're looking at ways. this is why streamlining and administrative flexibility is so important. return to figure out ways in which housing authorities could file one report, for example, that would cover their agency. we would still ask each housing authority to file for its own tennant and in some participants in tech will recall our database which is our personal information on every single household in the voucher program in the public housing side. there's one report that time that covers what the goals are really on the program. if it meant those goals at a year-end report. so we're looking at all sorts of ways. the been looking -- working with the number of housing authorities, all range of sizes
across the country asking them what information they need to run their day-to-day business about which they make their business decisions and then translating that into that information, we could collect in use since they are doing an already. we could then use to monitor them as well so or not asking for different information or in a different format than they already collected. >> you mentioned your support for their rental assistance demonstration and acted in fiscal 2012. can you update us on the status of this demonstration? secondly, can you also comment on draft house proposal to authorize funds for use in this conversion demonstration.
how these can be used to reserve this is the house. >> thank you. the rental assistance demonstration program was authorized in the fiscal 2012. it was designed initially as an f2 application time frame for public housing properties because we knew that there were houses ready to submit and others who really wanted to spend some time thinking through their applications a later date. the initial application ended october 204th several weeks ago. we get a number of applications still being tabulated in terms of how many, but they're range from small to medium to large. we can provide greater tabulation. on an ongoing role in bases, applications are coming in after the october 24 state. we will look at those after this
initial cut has been reviewed. as you know, the previous bill said that we could get up to 60,000 units in that at no cost. using project based contracts or project based vouchers. in addition, in that 60,000 count it's also authorizing 41 multi family program, one supplement, perhaps, or rental assistance payment. so we strongly support this program as a way to preserve public housing to get enough capital and used, private sector, using private sector tools, financing tools to get private money into the public arena to help rehabilitate and maintain these perris.
media know that there are a number of properties for whom this does not work. and so we look forward to what we have seen in previous iterations on the house side, additional money going into that program which would help housing authorities with greater capital needs leverage greater amounts of private sector equity. will we are seeing, which is really helpful, is housing authorities using a variety of tools from next finance deals to make this happen. again, it puts them on the same real estate platform as everything else in the real-estate market place using the equity for prop. to leverage capital improvement dollars to make sure that properties are maintained at current standards and will continue to improve and be available to serve the people
who are -- who live there now and for future generations in need the economic stability. >> i would like to think assistant secretary sandra henriquez for her testimony and for being here with us today. this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> tomorrow, c-span has live coverage of a hearing on the use of the human growth hormone in the nfl. live coverage of the house oversight committee begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern. later federal reserve chairman ben bernanke holds a news conference following a meeting of the federal open market
committee. you can watch it live beginning at 2:15 p.m. eastern. >> the white house was very controversial, as most things in america where. the designer of washington city, there was a competition. he submitted the design for a palace. it was not particularly on inspiring. in fact, in 1821, european diplomat told the congress that it was neither large nor on inspiring. the answer said -- the answer was the building served its purpose. perhaps some president would be inclined to become its permanent resident. >> former new york times photo critic has gathered a few of for favre winehouse photos and the white house, the president's home and photographs in history.
one sunday evening at 730 eastern and pacific on american history tv. >> senators chuck schumer and lamar alexander held a press briefing today on planning for next month's presidential inauguration. since 1901 the joint congressional committee on inaugural ceremonies as irresponsible for the planning and execution of the swearing in ceremonies and a luncheon for the inauguration of the president at the u.s. capitol. >> welcome. let you're all here. this is the platform where the inauguration will take place. it is on schedule, on budget, and our job, senator alexander and myself are in charge of this part of the inauguration. presidential inaugural committee. he has a fine job. we are just the inauguration. let me give you a little numbers and statistics. the first inaugural on the west
front with ronald reagan, 1981. the person in charge of building the platform is steve ayers, the architect of the capital. the platform will be about 10,000 square feet. it's the same size as the platform used in 2005, which was the largest platform ever built. as you know, on this -- on inaugural day there will be 1600 people on this platform, so it has to be very strong. and it will include, of course, the president, vice-president, families, house, senate, a cabinet members, supreme court, former presidents, the joint chiefs, governors, and the diplomatic corps. bleachers are built above the platform. they have not been started yet. anyway, they're going to hold another thousand people, and they will include acquires, one of which comes from brooklyn and one of which comes from near chattanooga, did you say?
>> cleveland, tennessee. >> cleveland, tennessee. a bipartisan musical contribution to the inaugural. the platforms are made entirely of lumber. its 88 compliant. it stadium designed so everyone can see pretty well. the design began more than a year ago. construction began in september. >> thanks. if you visit mount vernon, george washington is supposed to have said that the most important inauguration was not the first one but the second one to see whether we could reaffirm or transfer power. other republicans and democrats, were the sandra henriquez to a state. >> can we have mr. kerrigan say something. >> thank you, senator. i'm grateful to be here on behalf of the president and the presidential inaugural committee. the partnership we have formed with the joint congressional committee on inaugural ceremonies has been terrific and
is central to making sure the events we do here and throughout the capitol that we can -- our fitting of what we're actually doing in terms of this great moment in our democracy. thrill to have such great partners. we're grateful that such great, strong partners. >> if you can let us know how much it costs. >> the entire cost, our cost, the house and senate, the platform and the ceremony itself i paid for by the house and senate, by coming out of federal dollars. it's going to cost about 1,200,000 total, which is less than last year. we're coming in under budget, even though it will hold as many people and is just as large. >> senator, as far as the festivities go, i understand that portion of the funding, but what you make of the president's
decision -- >> are not going to get into that here. this is a nice, happy day. you can ask me that another time. >> tell us about the private ceremony on sunday. we understand there's a conservative ballot. whether now we will see press be invited or not. >> it's similar to what happens six of the times. this is the seventh time a president has set to take the oath. no, sure. the seventh time a president has had to take the oath of on sunday and then ceremonially on monday. it will be exactly in keeping with history. a brief event. what we mean by private is the president and his family and, of course, and justice to swear him in. the white house is working on details with the press. >> the constitution requires it to be on the 20th unless the sunday. it is a sunday this year, and so it comes out on monday, which is actually much nitpicking day,
which has a very great appropriateness for this inauguration >> press coverage of the event? >> there will be coverage. the white house press corps and the white house press officer working on what that will be in the type of access, but as you know, the president doesn't really do anything without extensive press coverage in the understand the significance of a moment. so the white house is working with the press corps, right now. >> thank you very much, everybody. nice to see you command of see with the inauguration. >> the fiscal cliff. do we have any news? >> up next on c-span2, a discussion about the ongoing civil war in syria. the hearing on the military conflict in eastern congo. later, a discussion about the middle east security.
>> president obama this evening said the u.s. now recognize the main syrian opposition groups as the legitimate representative of this country's people. earlier today political adviser to the syrian american council and a turkish journalist reporting on this serious civil war at the new america foundation. both men recently returned from the country and say the west can do more to help the syrian people. >> welcome, everyone. wellcome also to know c-span and its audience. very excited about today's events because we have two people with those who have recently come from syria and are
able to give us an insider perspective, something that is hard to come by in the context of syria. to my far right is mohammed ghanem. he received his bachelor's degree in english literature as well as his graduate degree in translation from damascus university. he went on to aaron a master's degree in peace building in conflict transformation from the center of justice and peace building at the eastern university and harrisonburg virginia and has taught as an assistant professor at the university of damascus on the syrian virtual university. he is a long time syrian activist. he was active in the early days of the revolution as a strategist for nonviolent cut democracy campaign. he has continued his activism
here in d.c. through this year in american council. he is currently taking on roles of advising civilian administrations which are emerging in syrian cities and which we intend to focus on today. he just returned from northern syria three weeks ago. to my immediate right is ilhan tanir, washington d.c. correspondent for a nation might turkish is favre. he is also a non resident fellow at the british and rejection society. and he has visited syria on three different occasions, in 2012. his first visit he stayed in the suburbs of damascus and in early august he was in elbow and has had the chance to be with the
free syrian army or the rebel forces as well as the civilian council as, i'm sure mohammed ghanem is well. he has written extensive articles on what he has witnessed which i encourage people to look at. so with that intersection, i would like to start off just with that general question. we're going to run the session in a question and answer style, and i'm sure the people in the audience have many questions to ask, but i'll start out with a just a few and then turned over to the audience. starting with you, the news that we are receiving in the u.s. is very much right now focused on the issue of chemical weapons, the emergence of islamist forces
, the question of whether or not damascus is about to turn and is the regime going to fall? but i want to ask you, given your experience and what you would best in northern syria, what is it that we are missing from the story? >> at the grimacing the narrative about citizens of syria and how they're coming together, trying to take a step toward governing themselves. so this narrative about this emergence of a society is missing because of the reports about chemical weapons and things. thank you so much for your introduction. before -- to further set the stage it would be helpful to remind ourselves of the country we're talking about today is a country that is experiencing a crisis of huge proportions.
many held to been destroyed. many of the people are internally displaced. hundreds of thousands of become refugees. some of them live in tin cans, some of them, including some of the activists i work with, elements in northern syria, the syrian turkish border. have not been given permission to cross the border because the turkish authorities say we cannot take any more syrians. and not to mention, the detention and a staggering death toll of more than 43,000 people. so the purpose of my trip was tough visit the "fun "hit areas in the country. we maintain access throughout the country because of the fighter jet and helicopter gunships. so -- so in those areas citizens are coming together trying to fill the vacuum with a gap that
is being created by the contracting government. i thought that was very interesting because syrians don't have the experience running -- governing themselves. for half a century, from 1960 until the state was highly centralized. everything -- the state can maintain control of everything in syria, even if you wanted to apply for like a marriage permanent or a permit to open a store. he needed to check first with the security forces. of the seven people have to come together. they need to do this command the need to do this very well with almost no funding or very little funding. they also have to operate in abnormal circumstances, so connecting with that aspect to see -- find out more about this narrative. i was hosted.
it was the perfect choice because it's arguably the most populous city in syria, some marginal august. it's in northern syria. there's the periphery, so the periphery, we call it countryside, that is making up their province. all of the periphery has been liberated. 70 percent of the city, control over 70 percent of the city slipped away. so i used to go as a kid with my father on business trips. and this the hustle and bustle of the city and no was used to. the first thing that i could think, was hosted by the transitional council, that is a group of civilians coming beginner to do with they can to fill this void by the
contracting state. the first thing we did was take it to our city. most of the shops and stores were closed down except offered some that were providing basic services. i wanted to find out how that local council was actually trying to function as a transitional body or a transitional government structure to help the city transition into. to be honest with you, and by the way, i'm using this as a case in point. this is happening all across the liberated region. said to be honest, i thought i was going to need with the staff. the conflict had not yet come to an end. the we were very pleasantly surprised because the operation we encountered was a lot more sophisticated than we thought. so they held elections and
elected a 32 member board. the chairman was a highly educated person, former university professor with a ph.d. in engineering from france . that also, 12 different specialized committees, relief, local administration, committee on financial committee on finance. about every single penny is accounted for. the committee, and they're working on a number of projects to stabilize the city and help the transition into a free syria. of love to talk about those projects of those councils on working on. >> can you say just a few words about the relationship between this council, the civilian counsel and the military, what we typically referred to as the free syrian army? >> about 80 percent of those coalesced under the military
council. and they were headed up by the secretary general, colonel by the name of. [indiscernible] so all of those groups so far those groups to maintain their separate identity. they do maintain their separate names, but they're all fighting in the banner of this council. they all differ to the disciplined, professional, colonel. and i would say that the relationship between the civilian council and the military council is characterized by basically to characteristics, a cooperative and competitive. the cooperative one, of course, is for the military efforts in the city. there would be no liberated areas. so the ss say come everyone depends on the fsx to provide protection, to keep the regime from entering the city and so forth. however -- said that is the corporate aspect.
however, there is also a competitive aspect. it's not short-term. its long-term. so you have civilians, you have an emergence of a society is trying to govern the city and provide basic goods and services that the state is not providing. i saw piles upon piles of trash. no one speaking of the trash. this is one of the services that they're trying to provide. so you have civilians who are trying to run the affairs of the committee. but you also have guys with guns you know, guns are a source of power. and the population, so i also see them as also competing, especially going into the future about who will have the upper hand. now, both the military council and the civilians are severely underfunded. still, the military council, the main source of power for the military council is the fighters
and civilians that need to be empowered to provide more and more services of that illegitimacy can be offered and further increased. so i would say it's competitive long-term and cooperative short-term. >> you were there earlier in the time in which this council was formed. you were also in smaller cities in northern syria. so how does -- how did you witness in terms of the civilian efforts and their relationship with the military compared to what mohammad witnessed. >> actually, i think any chance that we can talk about the plight of the civilian people, and the first time i was in
damascus. one instance, last january and was in damascus. and one of those, one of those days i ran into the person who was responsible of the logistics' of the revolutionary youth in the suburbs. i ask him after he told me how his day is like an ascham, how was it a year ago. well, a couple years ago. >> before the revolution. >> before the revolution. organization. he said it was zero.
and didn't know any internal organization that we could build on. they struggled for a few months and took that. so then suddenly the bombing in damascus in the middle of july and the regime was cut down by bombs. most were displaced even of some in a weaker to the regime forces had control and chunks of land became liberated. just a couple weeks after, 200,000 people in the northeastern part, about
2530 kilometers. also, it's kind of important. i think a stay there for about ten days in the now went back. the questions i have, so as we all -- there was very the experience except what would be the people, these 10,200,000 people towns to. tackle issues. other things. until the first nine and ride them was -- the journalist. the first night i arrived in see the people cleaning the streets.
and i later learned that it prepared these lists. sell out was one of the aspects. but about this council. the first day, within this ten days and participated in three council meetings. the main issue their return to accomplish was an agreement on the list of the council members. apparently there are three components. one of them think of revolutionary which is the people who organize the protest.
also, very much. [indiscernible] the second component they call the teachers, educators. not necessarily teachers, but they finance some of the news of the revolution from the beginning, and they also -- and the third component was that they called others. we will there. one extra point that they also had communication channels left open to of the regime forces. some of these three components after a couple weeks of discussions, my last day.
the first. they were able to agree on the numbers. and obviously it was only. [indiscernible] , safety or security. also the issues that did tackle. >> so very interesting. you had an elected council. you had an appointed one, people coming together and organize in themselves and to leaders and implement tiers according to the consensus. now i think that's quite an interesting sort of pattern that
one could find an interesting sociological element in question about what other challenges are facing these councils in terms of their own long-term stability it is clearly they're not operating according to any set of frameworks were plan. they're just taking initiative, and it sounds like they're out reading according to what is intentionally appropriate to their particular community. so let's adjust the question of stability. the u.s. -- their will be a meeting tomorrow. reports are that the u.s. is preparing to recognize a transitional government if, in fact, one can be found out of this new syrian revolutionary coalition. if there is a transitional
government that is recognized, what will its relationship the to the councils which are more ad hoc and the myosin, beset by a number of internal conflicts. are these sustainable? do they have to be accounted for in any overall government structure that may emerge and be recognized? what is the sustainability in the future of the council's? >> the first part. there are many challenges. first of all, these people and to survive. during my stay you see every day , especially if you go.
[indiscernible] so for example 15 battalions, different battalions. later on there were able to unite. one of the first issues that they were trying to tackle was to get them out of the city. if the italians stay in the city , much more likely that you get found. nevertheless, even though they got them out, later on they have found. first challenges that the cities have to be able to defend themselves. how they're going to sustain anything meaningful when they're
trying to survive. >> i think this is a very good question. when they're not these civilian efforts are sustainable, i believe depends on when they're not the civilians are empowered to meet needs and not. i work with a civilian assembly for the management of the civilian administrative councils so what i know about the council is not just based on my future. also, the councils in the north and other cities as well. one of the main challenges that the councils are facing is this empowerment component. all give you an example. they have an ambitious project to stabilize.
for example, the security committee was in the evolutionary transition area council and did not want the fsa to patrol the liberated area. it wanted to fight eliot the front lines. they're one of the regular police force. they appointed a former brigadier general, a defector that used to serve and the security forces. i met with him. and he had plans and he wanted to start a community produce -- policing force. this is a concept that means to be introduced. never had community policing. basically, it was a police state. not a single one of them was for community policing. so the problem was that a brigadier general did not even
have the resources to buy uniforms for his recruits, nevermind salaries to retain them for like at least until after the transition periods of that was one of the projects that were working on. the second thing, they're working on the system so if the three syrian army captures, they would not be executed. it would be due process. as much as possible. that would be a guarantee and be their working with chechens and with people with degrees in law. also began, the funding for that court system was also an issue. the third thing they were working on, there were working on to bunt it started out with a small community in an expanded
into medical council. that medical council or loan was running eight and a grant hospitals. i was able to visit two of them. just when i came back one of the hospitals had been leveled by the regime. so the thing is, these people, i grew up in syria. and know that we've or not even allowed to talk about commissioners so. you would have gotten into big trouble if he talked about a neighborhood because of the state of emergency. people were not allowed to get together on a regular basis. so all this of ic civilians operating at such a sophisticated level. ..
>> so what it takes with power, people on the ground need to arm themselves with money your new uniforms? so my thinking what is more important for empowerment going through the fundamentals revolution comment can i ask each of you to address how are these civilian formations able to be successful? what are they driving on? religious? are they related? respected elders?
of those doing work on the ground at least in tote read recently doing relief work for bre-x broke they have the legitimacy. however one of my main objectives, i thought they all respected the work of the council. they saw it as providing a service. they wanted the council to lead the transition. legitimacy by the way they feel from the ground is how you would normally think. there is overwhelming
issues. with cooking skills is the primary. if you can have cooking gas the new game legitimacy. but year history. to be under the impression nobody should think they were underground so long in fact, many have organize protest, relief work, functioning committee committee, it is a further stage of the organization taking place. so for those who organize protests now they're trying
members that the council. looking at damascus as well i have seen a woman taking over leading the protest. in that respect, they're doing work. but other than that from what i can see what i have bridges updated guide did not see the woman. >> i tend to agree. they are developing on the ground across the liberated
areas but also developing politically added national level look get the new umbrella group of the national coalition form dan doha, and maybe not in terms of defense budget to one of the deputy vice president of the national coalition is a prominent activist in syria up. but to be clear when been in syria are part and parcel of the revolution. i hold a special admiration because behind-the-scenes
change in the future. they say they want to help end by the way, i attended a number of meetings and all introduced themselves to us as the interior of heads and they said they don't want to give people the impression we're taking it vantage of the situation. in the future there will be elections. and less than one month later there was another round of elections. i am hopeful for the future. but the country is still in the midst of war. everything as far from perfect. >> one more point*.
bring in a more difference group of people? is it a possible strategy? >> to have part of the village tour the region, in areas that weren't maturity muslim come with the majority of people are but in areas most of the people the question calls the shots for the community. it depends on the demographics per barrel and
increasing or even a proportional. >> but political opposition the national council used to be the main umbrella group but the last beating that we attended in doha about 25% of the political opposition were minorities. and now with the national coalition the minorities also clay a roll. following the recognition the first ambassador that was appointed and was a syrian alawite. >> i am from the
>> this civilian council tries. this is a good segue. they are trying to get more control but to and a way that would create conflict. a good is why i say in the relationship is more cooperative than competitive program. >> but also what touche of light on the question i met with the commander in the lead for gig with 22 battalions, i met with the council.
these people are minority. i know the journalists that have been there and that is true. but the challenges the moderates better severely and underfunded. and this group is funded. it largely depends. >> i just have to make one small point* right now may be the case and syria in title to support to be included in a group to provide resources because there is immediate need but that does not mean that they
will maintain in the future so we need to be careful how we frame the issue of assistance to manipulate one direction n syria goes then. i think if you would get egypt it did say long road ahead but that does not make eight what could be of immediate use and need but that does not mean we do not need to think about of the syrian interest long term.
>> i am an ngo executive. and syria to years ago christians and alawite are very concerned about what happens because they have been against morally and spiritually against the regime and in the realm. what did you find? are they participating in the council? how are the people that are part of the regime now